Time and Perspective

Getting older is a circle for the wise...
little girl playing, a thought for the day, S Chavez, Getting older is a circle for the wise...

So I've been thinking about time. Just like the rest of us did when we were their age, the young believe that the time they live in is theirs and no one else’s. Everyone else is either too young or too old to understand.


And they're right…and they're wrong.


When we’re little children, we aren’t even aware, let alone even care about what other people think of us. We live free of the constraints of others opinions and do what makes us happy. This is why most well adjusted children dance or sing in public without any self consciousness. It’s why we tend to see such sincerity in their expressions when we look at their pictures. These children are happy with themselves.


The young, having the blessing of many years of youth still ahead of them, don't understand it and in their innocence, don't care. They have plenty of time. They have nothing but time. The thing they lack is wisdom earned through experience of years. Thus, their arrogance is bolstered by their ignorant innocence as they blissfully march through their childhood into young adulthood.


On the other hand you have the old. They have passed through the arrogance of youth, worked and observed the world through their middle years, and finally have come to understand the passing fragility of that special time in their lives they now call their younger years. They have traded the immortality of their youth for wisdom, placing value in the lessons hindsight has brought them, realizing that while they move through time, time is moving as well.


Just as they can see the little everyday changes in children as they grow, they start to see the little changes every morning as they look in the mirror. Whiter hair, a new wrinkle, more papery skin. Their reflection forces them to realize that no matter how fast they run, they will always lose the race against time.


The wise come to understand that they don’t have to win, they just have to keep moving, teaching the young to run on their own, and helping others keep up until it’s time to stop running this world’s race and see what the next world holds for them.


If a person is wise and mature enough to arrive at this awareness, they a attain a new world view, or old world view as the case may be and just like when they were children, once again stop worrying about what people think of them and start living free of the constraints of others opinions. The fortunate few who get to this point become sincere and expressive, are often much happier with themselves, and, if they’re lucky, start being affectionately called things like eccentric, free spirited, or even cool by younger people around them because they have developed a style all their own which reflects their inner happiness. They now buy the toys they once would have attained in an attempt to deal with a mid-life crisis, but now they aren’t status symbols to be flaunted and displayed. This time, they are all about the personal happiness they engender just having them around.


I guess what I’m trying to say is that life isn’t necessarily all about growing and moving forward. Sometimes life can be about returning to the simplicity of liking who you are just because you are who you are…just like when we were children.


Talk about coming full circle.


- S Chavez